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Mastering Tasker - 2: Setting your home zone, introducing entry / exit tasks
If you are new to Tasker I recommend you work through the tutorials in order, part 1 is available in this post.
What today's article covers
Today we're going to talk about the location Context and how this allows you to configure Tasker to do specific things when you are home, work, or any other location you choose. We're also going to introduce entry and exit tasks.
Creating a location based Profile
First of all, let's create our location based Profile for home - you can then replicate this for any other places you'd like to use. Follow the steps below, which i've also captured in screenshots in case you get stuck. To follow these you need to be at the main '3 tabs' screen.
- Press the green plus icon to create a new Profile.
- You're prompted for a name at this point - if you don't put one in, it will be automatically created for you. Let's use 'Home' for this example, then press the green tick to accept.
- Now you're prompted for your first Context - the Context we want to use is 'Location'. Select it and you'll be presented with a view of a map. You can zoom in and out using multitouch or the buttons.
- The button in the bottom right hand corner will move the map to your currently location. Below the map you'll see 2 buttons and a drop down.
- The 'Net' button toggles whether to use coarse (cell / wifi) location and the 'GPS' button toggles whether to use fine (GPS) location. I strongly recommend using only net location as using the GPS option will hammer your battery! The radius dropdown lets you choose the radius from the chosen point within which the profile will be active. Be careful you don't set this too low - since coarse location isn't super-accurate, you're best erring on the side of caution here, choosing a larger radius to start with and reducing it gradually until you hit a level you are happy with.
- To set your chosen location, long press on the map to place / move a little flag then press the green tick and give the location a name.
- So we've told Tasker when we want our Task to trigger (the Context for the Profile), now we need to tell it what we want it to do. Select 'New Task'.
- Again we are prompted for a name - which is optional and will be automatically populate if needed - let's leave it empty this time.
- Here we can add in our Actions. We add them using the plus icon and save / cancel using the green tick / red cross. The 'Play' button in the bottom right allows us to test our Task. We can also give our Task an image / icon if we choose. Press the plus icon.
- Let's think about things we might want our phone to do when we're at home. On my device I have a number of things from the internal actions and plugins, but for this part, we'll just use internal functions (plugins are coming up next!) As an example in this instance, let's have Tasker turn on WiFi.
- The category that we want to use this time is 'Net' and then 'WiFi'. In the dialogue that pops up you can choose between Off / On / Toggle as appropriate, select 'On' then press the green tick. Press the green tick again to save the Task.
- OK, we can now see that we have a 'Home' Profile with a location Context and a WiFi on Action. This is all good, but what happens when we're no longer at home? What will happen by default is that the WiFi state will return to whatever state it was in when the Profile was activated. This is OK, but what if, for whatever reason, WiFi was on when the profile was activated? What we really want is for WiFi to go off and we can accomplish this with an Exit Task. The action we've just create went into the Entry Task, as indicator by the green arrow. Let's create an Exit Task.
- To create the Exit Task, press and hold on the Entry Task we've just created - the box with the green arrow and the 'WiFi On' text. A menu will pop up, the first item on which is 'Add Exit Task'. Press this!
- From this point, we're just repeating the above again. Choose 'New Task', again leave the name empty, press the plus icon, choose 'Net' and then 'WiFi' but this time select 'Off' then press the green tick. After pressing the green tick to return to the main screen, you'll see we now have a section with a red arrow, this is the Exit Task section.
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That's it - we're done! If you've set the location to where you are now, you should see the profile activate immediately and the WiFi toggle take place accordingly.
In the next part we're going to extend what happens in our 'Home Zone' with the use of third party plugins.
Please post your feedback in the comments, together with any requests / ideas for future parts!
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